As the head coach for Capital’s Women’s Basketball team, Camille McPherson is excited about her legacy as she continues to inspire her players and coach her team to victory.
Prior to coaching, McPherson played for her alma mater, Moravian College, and served as a two-year captain. In 2016, her team made an NCAA Tournament appearance and she was named the Moravian College Female Senior Athlete of the Year in 2017.
“I had an awesome playing experience with a great coach and when I was done playing, I really wanted to stay involved in the game. The relationship I had with my coach kind of pushed me to want to get into coaching,” said McPherson. “It’s been kind of quick but awesome.”
McPherson started her training through the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) “So You Want to be a Coach” program. Held each year in conjunction with the WBCA Convention, the program “assists female collegiate basketball players who are interested in pursuing a career in coaching women’s basketball by providing them with professional development and career advancement through education, skills enhancement, networking and exposure opportunities.”
“I think wanting to give back to the next generation is something that always pushes you. I’m just so grateful that this game has taken me to so many places and given me so many experiences,” said McPherson. “Here at Capital, I can make sure our student-athletes are building confidence and leadership skills to be successful in whatever career they get into next. I think that’s ultimately the goal of the program for sure.”
While the statistics are improving, Latina coaches such as McPherson are still more underrepresented than their white counterparts.
“Just one generation ago, my mom came to this country as a refugee from Cuba when she was seven,” said McPherson. “I just think of all the opportunities that I’ve had. The opportunities to chase every academic, athletic, and career goal that I’ve wanted. Just knowing that she’s been able to see me chase all those things, I’m always proud of where I came from.”
Always looking for a way to push women’s sports forward, McPherson is an active member in multiple professional organizations, including the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, WeCoach, Women Leaders in College Sports, Latinx Association of Basketball Coaches, and the National Hispanic Coaches Association.
“There are so many organizations that really champion the impact that sports have for women,” said McPherson. “There’s not a ton of Latino or Hispanic coaches, especially on this level, so I’m definitely proud to be one of them, especially in Division III.”
Fifty years ago, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed by Congress. The legislation and the protections that followed ensured that women like McPherson could play basketball at the collegiate level and then pursue her career as a coach. Title IX “prohibits sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
“I grew up in one of the first generations where women’s sports were starting to be a normal thing, where you turn on the TV and see women competing,” said McPherson. “It’s not lost on me that the opportunity to be a full-time women’s basketball coach at a school like Capital is because of the coaches that came before me. I’m always aware that it’s the generation before me that put me in the position that I am.”
As McPherson continues with what will hopefully be a long coaching career, she finds herself advocating not only for her players but for all girls and women in sports.
“We have to continue on the legacy and keep pushing,” said McPherson. “We’re educated and aware. We need to be encouraging the next generation to get involved in what’s going on so when they’re in my position, they can continue to fight too.”
For more information about Capital Athletics, visit https://athletics.capital.edu/.
For more information about Camille McPherson, visit https://athletics.capital.edu/staff-directory/camille-mcpherson/198.
To learn more about Title IX, visit https://www.capital.edu/about-capital/title-ix-and-sexual-harassment/.